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Tuesday, June 04, 2013
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Heat Action Plan Ads Hit the Streets of Ahmedabad!

By Guest Author, Kathryn Wright, MEM '13 and Lauren Sanchez, MEM '14 and 2013 YCELP Moran Environmental Fellow
In mid-March, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) in Ahmedabad, Gujarat launched the first comprehensive heat action plan in South Asia in collaboration with the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) and its partners. Now that the heat season is just around the corner for Gujarat, 
the AMC will have the opportunity to put the heat action plan in motion. The heat action plan is composed of an early warning system and public awareness campaign about staying healthy during extreme temperatures and may be accessed online on the AMC’s website.
 
Climate scientists predict that extreme heat waves will increase in frequency due to climate change. A key component of NRDC's example materials and advertisements is to try and establish the link between extreme temperatures, health and climate change. NRDC, in partnership with the Indian Institute of Public Health
(IIPH), Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, and Georgia Institute of Technology, was able to develop public service announcements, recommendations and protocols for heat waves and extreme heat events.
 
Advertisements and print-distribution are already picking up around the city. Billboards, as pictured below, are being put up around the city providing heat prevention tips. In the coming months, key stakeholders will continue to meet, discuss and revise the early warning system.
 
 Photo courtesy of Anjali Jaiswal, Director of India Initiative
(Photo courtesy of Anjali Jaiswal, Director of the NRDC India Initiative)
 
This billboard and other heat action plan advertisements are directed at several unique groups, vulnerable to the effect of increased heat:
  • Young and elderly populations – development stages contribute to increased vulnerability due to challenges maintaining homeostasis. These populations are at-risk because of lack of control of their surrounding environments

  • Slum communities - typically lack access to cooling facilities, healthcare and other amenities to help combat the heat 

  • Outdoor workers - physical exertion under the hot sun contributes to dehydration and susceptibility to other extreme heat illnesses

The heat action plan will be primarily disseminated throughout the city of Ahmedabad through public ads in a variety of media. The advertisements and publications were further tailored to address these unique groups. A separate easy-read version of the heat action plan was developed to reach a broader audience. There are also plans to place public service announcements on ambulances. Another exciting development is that the AMC printed health tip sheets for 6,000 school children to take home to their families! 
 
In addition to the advertisements around the city, NRDC and its partners are also providing health fact sheets for medical workers and community outreach groups around the city. Through these dissemination strategies, Ahmedabad residents will be able to properly prepare for heat season, and will begin to think about the impacts associated with climate change.

 
Diagram courtesy of NRDC and its project partners
(Diagram courtesy of NRDC and its project partners)
 
The heat action plan also involves coordination and cooperation between multiple different government responses to create an integrated emergency response system. The flowchart on the left details the coordinated action between government departments and other stakeholders. These agencies will work together to reach as many residents as possible. There are even plans to coordinate with key electric and water providers during the most extreme temperatures. 
 
In the coming months, key stakeholders will continue to meet, discuss and revise the early warning system and the heat action plan. Keep an eye on the India Initiative website for updates. 
Posted in: Environmental Law & GovernanceEnergy & Climate

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